Enclosed Spaces is an ambitious showcase for Daybreak Theatre Company, the first and the last pieces make it worth the trip to the Golden Goose Theatre
“At least it’s unsolicited potato pics he’s sending and not something else”
There’s an interesting concept at the heart of Daybreak Theatre Company’s Enclosed Spaces, a suite of four pieces of original writing. Four unconnected new short plays written by Annie Knox and Kia Kielty – disparate in genre and character – gathered here thematically by a varying interpretation of the notion of being trapped. Perhaps inevitably, the results are mixed.
From hospital waiting rooms to broken down lifts to troubled psyches to nightclub toilets, we swing all the way from near-horror to melodrama, full-on comedy to psychodrama. And it is often an interesting journey, with some fascinating character studies being built up even with the limited timeframe. At its best, with the final piece Cubicle, you’re longing for the show to go on.
Cubicle works because of its clever format. Two women ducking the crowds at a club and inbetween the comic interventions of other people coming in to do pretty much anything but pee, strike up a strangely meaningful conversation. And in amongst the sharply observational humour, Taja Morgan and Kathryn Haywood strike just the right note of pathos as two women out of sorts.
I admired the formal ambition behind Mirror, a woman wracked by self-critical thoughts interpreted through a physical theatre lens, but it didn’t quite click for me, this version of being trapped a little too far removed from the others. And Lift didn’t really have enough time to breathe in this format, the battle it presented perhaps too schematic (or maybe I was just too distracted by the characters sitting on the floor, of a lift, of a lift!).
And lastly, although first on the night, Waste is a really interesting take on the theme which is probably best experinced without knowing anything about it beforehand, Knox and Alex Miller de Luis both impressing in this slow-burner.